ICC begins investigation of Russia’s war crime

ICC begins investigation of Russia’s war crime

The International Criminal Court  (ICC) in the Hague, Netherlands; will open an investigation into Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as “rapidly as possible,” ICC Prosecutor Karim A.A. Khan said in a statement Monday.

Following a preliminary examination into the situation, Khan said he confirmed that there is a reasonable basis to “believe that both alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed in Ukraine.” 

The ICC  will make further investigations into this claim.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that in five days, 56 missile strikes and 113 cruise missiles were launched in Ukraine by Russian forces.

He added, “Today, Russian forces brutally fired on Kharkiv from jet artillery. It was clearly a war crime.”

“Kharkiv is a peaceful city, there are peaceful residential areas, no military facilities. Dozens of eyewitness accounts prove that this is not a single false volley, but deliberate destruction of people: the Russians knew where they were shooting.”

“There will definitely be an international tribunal for this crime — it’s a violation of all conventions. No one in the world will forgive you for killing peaceful Ukrainian people,” he said.

Zelenskyy has appealed to the ICC over this crime against humanity by Russia; the ICC has assured genuine probes into Ukraine’s appeal.

This accusation comes into the limelight after  surveillance technology showed a huge movement of Russian troops and ammunitions moving further into Kyiv; and the Russian missile strike  on Vasylkiv, Bila Tserkva and Kalinovka in the Kyiv region; destroyed a five-story dormitory and two five-story residential buildings, Ukraine’s Ministry of Interior said.

Three state emergency service units are on their way to provide assistance to the dormitory that was hit in Bila Tserkva.

Emergency service units are not en route to the two five-story residential buildings in Vasylkiv and Kalinovka because the shelling was increased.

As tensions continues; France says it fears Ukrainian civilians will be targeted “massively” in a Russian invasion.

France’s Elysée Palace says it fears that Ukrainian civilians will become  the main target in a Russian invasion, a spokesperson has said.

Macron said during a briefing with journalists on Monday; he was on a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The spokesperson also expressed willingness to support Ukraine’s aspirations to join the EU amid the escalation of the Russian offensive in Ukraine.

As for the call between Macron and Putin, the spokesperson noted that it is “advisable to maintain all possible options to try to get out of the current spiral.” 

The palace spokesperson described Putin as “following a logic of offense. So in the current situation, there are very serious risks of seeing Russia extend its operations with a considerable human, political, strategic and economic cost.”

“There are good reasons to fear that civilians will be targeted more massively and without precautions by the Russians,” said the spokesperson.

The Elysée Palace spokesperson also commented on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s public request that the European Union consider admitting Ukraine as a member.

“There is a consensus among us that the European Union will emerge transformed from this ordeal;  from this crisis,” the spokesperson said. “In this context, I believe that everyone is well aware of the fact that Ukraine is a country in the heart of Europe; that Ukraine is a country whose destiny is important to us; whose democratic choice is important to us and that we want to be able to support its aspirations.”

However, they coached the palace’s support by noting that, “we must be careful not to make promises that we cannot keep; not only to Ukraine, but also to all the countries around Russia that have close relations with Europe; which are themselves European countries.”

As  shelling increases and bombardment of civilian areas continues; many civilians have taken to  fleeing the capital and crossing borders of other close neighbors in a bid to save their lives. there have been reports of racial abuse

Speaking at the  UNSC, African nations on UN Security Council condemn racism at Ukrainian border

Representatives from the three African nations on the UN Security Council; Kenya, Ghana, and Gabon; all condemned discrimination against African citizens; at the Ukrainian border during a UNSC meeting at the UN HQ in New York City Monday afternoon.

Also read: Ukraine: FG plans special evacuation for Nigerians trapped in war-torn country

“In the unfolding emergency, there have been disturbing reports about the racist treatment of Africans and people of African descent; seeking to flee Ukraine to safety.

The media is covering these appalling incidents and several states have confirmed that their citizens are suffering such treatment.

The mistreatment of African peoples on Europe’s borders needs to cease immediately; whether to the Africans fleeing Ukraine; or to those crossing the Mediterranean,” Kenyan Ambassador to the UN Martin Kimani said Monday.

Kimani added that the Security Council needs “to be able to understand; that there are actors who want to magnify this story for cynical reasons; that have nothing to do with the wellbeing and safety of Africans.”

He also thanked Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia for allowing Kenyan citizens fleeing Ukraine visa-free entry into their countries.

Ghanaian Deputy Ambassador to the UN Carolyn Oppong-Ntiri echoed the sentiment in her remarks; calling for the facilitation of persons fleeing Ukraine “without discrimination”; and to provide them with humanitarian assistance, “including medical care in line with the principles of humanity, neutrality, and impartiality.” 

The UN Ambassador from Gabon called reports of racism “unacceptable.” 

“We ask for the respect of the dignity and for equitable treatment of all people in dire circumstances. It is an opportunity for my country to recall; the African Union appeal for respect of international law that requires equal treatment for all people; who cross international borders in conflict areas,” Ambassador Michel Xavier Biang said.

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